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---- PROTOTYPE --------- PURPOSE: To design a mechanism used to modify wheelchairs so that the chair is propelled by a pulling action of the arms rather than by pushing for individuals with mobility disabilities and spinal cord injuries. The design is based on the premise that allowing the stronger biceps take on more of the work will result in more endurance and greater control. The Rowheel has similar specifications and appearance to existing manual wheelchair wheels, and the Rowheel is designed to mount onto any standard manual wheelchair as it incorporates standard parts. The key feature of the Rowheel design is an adapting planetary gear system at the center of the wheel, which reverses the pulling motion of the user into a forward motion of the chair. The unique change from pushing to pulling along with the mechanical advantage created by the use of the gear system is intended to provide an overall increase in user endurance and range. To operate a wheelchair with Rowheels, the user pulls a standard rim which is connected to the gear system so that the rim rotates backward. The gear system transforms the backward motion of the rim into forward motion of the wheel, propelling the wheelchair forward. Biomechanically, the Rowheel is designed to offer a more efficient solution to the problems of shoulder, elbow, wrist injuries, user fatigue and maneuverability, since the pulling motion transfers loads and stresses usually experienced by smaller and weaker muscles in the shoulder and arms to larger and more capable muscles in the upper back, shoulders, and arms, therefore, considerably reducing stresses and injuries experienced by the shoulders, triceps, and wrists. TITLE: Reverse Force Wheelchair Utilizes Muscle Use. WEBSITE: medGadget. REF: http://www.medgadget.com/archives/2010/10/reverse_force_wheelchair_utili....
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